Orlando is reopening: When all the theme parks will be open
Florida is kind of the theme park capital of the United States. Not that this phenomena is strange – the state is almost perpetually sunny and warm, but it isn’t the dreaded dry heat of places like Arizona. If you’re making a theme park then Florida is a great location choice.
However, the sunshine state hasn’t heard the screams of glee reverberating off of roller coasters for months now thanks to the pandemic. If you’ve been fantasizing about going on a vacation as soon as it’s safe, then perhaps you’re wondering when Orlando theme parks will be opening back up. This is what we know so far.
A park with approximately four parks inside of itself, going do Disney World is a popular place for extended vacations. Not to mention, you know, it’s Disney. While the district outside of the park called Disney Springs has already opened, none of the actual parks or rides are available to visitors just yet.
However, as of May 27th, Disney posted to their blog with the news they had submitted a proposal to open their Orlando park starting July eleventh, yes just over a month away. They’ll start with the Magic Kingdom (arguably the most important park), and the Animal Kingdom. A few days later on the fifteenth, they’re hoping to have EPCOT and Hollywood Studios open too.
Disney is promising rules to limit attendance and control the density of guests, in the hopes of maintaining some form of social distancing. Certain attractions such as makeovers and character meet and greets, as well as others will remain unavailable until further notice to adhere to social distancing too. (This likely means a side effect of incredible wait times for rides – we’ll be jealous we can’t take advantage of this ourselves.)
While you wait for the park itself to open you can hang out in Disney Springs to shop or eat at one of their restaurants. Although, when they opened this district Disney really wanted visitors to know this was at their own risk.
If you just cannot wait to feel the wind in your hair as you drop twenty feet while attached to a steel track, then Universal Studios in Orlando is here for you. They’re already open! When you visit their site they do have a giant banner at the top of their pages stating, “Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit.”
If this is something you’re willing to take on, then you can go to the park right now. They are requiring everyone to wear a face mask, and will temperature check everyone who enters, so be ready for this. They’re asking guests to wash their hands frequently, maintain six feet between parties, follow any directions team members may give, and adhere to any floor markings they may have placed for guest safety. (We imagine the floor markings are most prevalent in ride lines.)
The park is also promising rigorous cleaning procedures and limited capacity. If this doesn’t sound a little overwhelming, or like it might make a fun afternoon a little stressful, then Universal Studios is ready and waiting with their gates open for you.
SeaWorld Orlando is also gearing up for a very near reopening date. The sea creature themed park is opening in just a few days on June 11th. Reservations will be required for entry, however. And they too have a big warning banner at the top of their website letting potential visitors know the park isn’t responsible for any potential COVID-19 exposure.
This reopening includes SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, and Discovery Cove. There will also be limited attendance guidelines at this park, guest and employee temperature checks, required face masks for anyone two years and older, intense cleaning, and physical distancing requirements.
Their website goes on to outline how every part of their part will be altered to create the safest possible experience they can. These include, but aren’t limited to rearranged seating for restaurants, social distancing markers in various areas, and potentially the removal of certain experiences for the time being.
So if you’re ready for some fun in the Floridian sun, you’re in luck because your summer plans may not have to be entirely without some theme park shenanigans.
However, with flights and hotel openings as limited as they are, it seems this reopening of parks may only be useful information for current residents of Orlando – at least for the time being. Floridians, have fun, and be sure to take a spin on the Teacups in our name.